Pregnancy Update

Pregnancy Update

I am really lucky that my pregnancy so far has been really easy and I thought I’d share how things have been going in that department.

How far along? I’m currently 37 weeks pregnant, so not too long to go for me now, phew! I’ve loved being pregnant although oh my gosh, the constant need to go pee but I’m excited to see the baby at last. And to stop counting time in weeks.

How big is the baby? The size of a serving tray of madeleines according to my app. I feel like this is subjective depending on how much a person likes madeleines. Ooh, remind me to share my oatmeal cookie recipe!

How am I doing? Symptoms wise I don’t have any complaints. I just need to pee quite often and I feel the heat a lot more than before I was pregnant. Usually during summer I’d be charging down to the beach but at this stage of the pregnancy it’s just too darn hot for me. I’m also really aware that whilst I can sweat to cool down the baby can’t so I’m trying to be considerate at the same time haha. And yeah the not sleeping thing. If I’m lucky I can sleep for three hours in a full block but lately I’ve noticed that if I play meditation music I can sleep up to five hours which is awesome. I’ve been feeling really cheerful this whole pregnancy even though somedays I really am so so so tired! I think the meditation helps with that. And I’ve been super lucky not to have any back pain. I’m still doing Pilates and yoga on the regular which helps keep things strong.

How much weight have I gained? I don’t know. We don’t have any scales at home because we don’t weigh ourselves and when I go in for checkups no one ever asks to weigh me. I didn’t know how much i weighed before I was pregnant either anyway. The midwife measures my bump and at my last one my measurements matched the number of weeks I was so I guess everything is normal in that department. I know that in terms of clothing sizes, I’ve gone from a UK size 10 fitting loosely to a UK size 12 to 14 depending on the cut of the clothing. Most of the weight has gone to my boobs and obviously my bump so I went up a size so that tops and dresses would cover my bump haha. There’s one dress that I bought online in several colours and sizes because it was so comfortable. I’ve pretty much been living in that. At home I still wear my usual clothes because no one sees anyway.

Which brings me to…

I suppose partly because of what I do, I get a lot of people scrutinising my changing body shape and appearance but when I think back I always get that type of attention even when I work as a lawyer or way back when I was a teenager. From some people, not everyone. But enough for me to notice! This is a weird subject for me,  how people can be so fascinated by my body that they pay such close attention and feel like they can tell me what they think about it. My husband? My mother? My health provider? Sure, ok. People I see twice a year for lunch? I dunno. People I just met? I mean, really. I feel like there are more fun or important things we could chat about. It’s even more surprising that instead of less comments people feel like they can comment more about my body now that I am pregnant. WHY. When did we decide this was ok?

One day was particularly rough for me when I kept getting hounded by some women to say how many kilograms I had put on through this pregnancy and they wouldn’t believe me when I said I honestly didn’t know. B told me that they later asked him the same thing when I wasn’t around. As if he weighs me in my sleep?! It kind of hurt my feelings that time but I put my reaction down to having not slept a single minute the night before and fighting off a throat infection. There’s no question that I am big now, I’m due in just a few weeks! But I’ve been told that I look SO HUGE since halfway through my pregnancy and I got a few of the, “Are you sure it’s not twins, har har?” line. Would you believe I was told by the same person early on that I looked really big and then a few months later she said, “You look so big now. Before you still looked really small.” It gets really confusing if you take in everyone’s opinions. Sometimes I wondered because I got so many of those comments that maybe I am really big for how far along I was but then I went in to get measured as part of my checkup and was told that I’m perfectly on track. A few weeks ago a woman said really loudly in front of everyone in the group, “WOW you’re really big” and repeated it a few times for good measure. What she didn’t know was that a few days ago I had gone in for a regular checkup to be told I was measuring slightly smaller than I was meant to be. It was really worrying me at the time but luckily the baby is all caught up now and that is all that matters to me.

I just wonder about what if I was someone who had or still has an eating disorder or a less loving relationship with my body and was now hearing these things? What about my baby listening in on every conversation and hearing how focused people are on weight? How would all that make me feel about my changing body which is working hard at growing a human inside? What would that do to how I felt about my baby? Does it not occur to people that they might affect someone? But maybe they sense that I’m generally pretty resilient so they just give me all those comments instead of someone more vulnerable. I kind of hope so but unfortunately I don’t think that’s the case. One of B’s friends was saying that his wife HATED pregnancy because of all the comments about how big she was getting. That was her one complaint. How horrible to get so put off by what is supposed to be such an amazing experience!

I feel really good about myself so it’s not a huge deal for me. I can walk away from these comments and get on with having an amazing day. I love my baby belly and it’s so amazing to feel my baby swimming around inside all day long. I also get a lot of compliments too which helps with not feeling all that bothered. A lot of people are just excited to see and touch the bump and I totally appreciate that. You can see their whole face light up when they look at it. A friend of mine was saying it might be because everything else seems to be close to the same and it’s just this bump entering the room before I do that makes people say I look so big. Meanwhile I’m going to miss walking around feeling like I’ve got a golden egg on me. I really like it! It’s so round and shiny (especially after I’ve exfoliated haha).

Pregnancy update - baby in my belly

Something to remember is that these things can be really subjective unless the comments are coming from the people who look after your unborn baby. Also, sometimes people don’t mean to be hurtful, they just aren’t very careful or mindful with their words. Best not to assume anything about their true intentions and just let the words tumble off your shoulder like water. Some weeks you might feel like nothing is happening and other weeks it feels like the baby is growing faster. All the while people might just think you look big blah blah blah. Another thing is appearances could have something to do with your build and also your genetics. Some women don’t appear to look pregnant at all whereas others, like me, do. I have a short torso compared to my legs and arms so there isn’t much space for my bump to spread out and this entire pregnancy I have been carrying really high so it kinda just sticks out there. There are those women who have very small baby bumps even up to the birth of the baby and others who have really big bumps early on in their pregnancy. The only thing that matters is that you and the baby are healthy!

I still remember how excited I was when my bump finally started to show! Finally my bump was catching up with my boobs which were getting honestly, wayyyyyyyyy too much attention from randoms. I remember standing in a shop and hearing a guy comment on the size of my chest to the girl standing next to him and the girl smacking him and saying, “She’s pregnant you idiot!” Neither of them had realised I could understand their dialect. It wasn’t long after that that the baby in my belly was then big enough for me to feel the kicking. So much fun and no comment from anyone could ever take away how enjoyable the experience has been for me.

Anyway this all came out a bit jumbled and rambly but I just thought I would share my experience. If there was one ugh part to pregnancy that wasn’t to do with the constant need to pee and not much sleep it would be those comments. I’m lucky that I have been feeling really mentally and physically strong this pregnancy plus I have so much love and support around me. I felt the need to say something in case other women are walking around feeling bothered. I totally understand it’s not nice to experience! Just eat healthfully, drink plenty of water, exercise safely and don’t let those things get to you! Opinions like that don’t pay the bills and they won’t nourish your baby! Pay attention to what the professionals looking after your health and the health of your baby say. Some people just don’t consider that what they say can matter so in that case you can just tell yourself that they’re right, their words really don’t matter!!

Meanwhile if you aren’t pregnant but you have found yourself experiencing the urge to comment please pause and really think about the impact you could have on someone. What are you trying to say and what purpose does it serve?

Any cravings? Not really. I’m even ok with going without watermelon and oranges for days at a time haha. I’m still eating them although not because I crave them anymore but because I want to keep my immune boosted and watermelon was a good way to stay hydrated in this heatwave situation we were having here in Sydney. I’d be just as happy with ice water. I read somewhere that if your nutritional needs are well met you’re less likely to experience cravings.

Any aversions? Not really either. I’m really low maintenance, I think.

Have I got stretch marks? I can’t see LOL! I think they show up more if they are there once the baby is out. For now all I can see are blue veins. My veins have always been really easy to see through my skin and I can see loads around my tummy at times. My mum didn’t get any stretch marks having me either so we’ll see if the genes are strong in me! I was getting a wax with my beautician who I’ve been seeing for years and she commented that I didn’t have any. I asked her about my theory that they show up more after but she was like, “Nope, if they’re not there, they’re won’t be there on the other side.” HAHAHA she cracks me up. Anyway for now, I don’t have any according to people who have seen me naked.

But like I said, I can’t see for myself and in that sense I am going by what other women are telling me.

Does the baby kick a lot? The baby was kicking quite a bit before but lately as my bump has gotten bigger the movements feel more swishy and fluid like. It’s pretty funny to watch the skin on my tummy ripple around. I think the baby is just happy doing some tai chi style moves in there but the really STRONG kinds. This baby is literally pushing the roof and the walls out as far as they’ll go.

Baby bump with rainbow crystal

Do we have any names chosen? Yes we have a few we love but obviously we’d like to just wait until the baby is out before saying anything.

Am I planning a natural birth? Yes! But I am trying to stay okay with whatever happens.

Am I nervous about labour? Super nervous haha but oh well, hopefully I’ll be able to stay focused on breathing and it won’t take so long that I get hungry or something lol.

Have I got everything ready for the baby? Not yet, yikes! That’s what I’ll be busy doing for the next few weeks I figure. I’ve just been ordering things from online and I’ll let you know what I ended up getting. I’m currently doing loads and loads of washing of all the baby clothes I ordered, I found some really great websites so will share soon. Meanwhile, this is ONE BATCH. Yeesh!

baby-clothes-laundry-day

But omigosh if it even makes any sense, Mum and I both went nuts when I finished hanging these teeny tiny clothes out on the line. She’s still cooing over the cuteness and I agree. It’s ridiculous how cute they look.

Also. Is it crazy I totally wish this beanie came in my size? I mean. Lookatit.

bunny rabbit forest beanie from NEXT

That’s pretty much it. If you’re currently pregnant or have been pregnant and want to share your experiences, I’d love to hear from you! xo

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Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year! 

I’m celebrating the New Year with breakfast in bed and icy pops in total silence.

SUCH BLISS

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How was your New Year’s?

It’s been a really hot couple of days over here. Unbearably hot! I may have mentioned that I hardly sleep due to the pregnancy, did I? Well, I don’t sleep much, which is ok! But when the thermostat hit the high 30s the last few days and refused to drop back down during the evenings, I got so uncomfortable. Honestly I spent all night and early morning of New Year’s Eve Eve staring at the weather app on my phone haha. I’ve always run a little warmish, in Traditional Chinese Medicine this is known as having excessive internal heat, and that last night definitely finished me off.

I woke up on New Year’s Eve voiceless which was terrible timing since we had a whole bunch of people coming over. I figured I’d spend the day just listening but it seems that some days the more you want to listen to people, the more they want to hear you speak. This was even after B had gone around to everyone stating firmly that I had completely lost my voice and couldn’t speak. Oh well. The people want what the people want. I stuck everything drinkable in the chiller to keep my voice croaking on. I was so miserably tired from not sleeping, feeling so horrible with my painful throat and just completely under the weather that I felt like I might weep. That’s when I excused myself for 11 minutes to go meditate. I say to people all the time that meditation helps. Sometimes I forget that I should add, “But you need to keep at it.” So even though I had meditated at 3:30 am when the weather app said it was 34degrees (celsius so people who live in farenheit countries aren’t like, “What is your problem?” haha) I obviously needed to give myself some kind of boost. And it did the trick! My throat was still a little sore but my voice felt stronger and I had enough energy to get me through the afternoon until everyone went home happy with full bellies. Awwwww…..

In the evening time B and I just hung around at home nibbling on leftovers, watching the last bit of Home Alone. And staring at the baby bump. I don’t know if other parents are like this but we’re obsessed with staring at it. We watch it the way people watch movies. Also, is it Christmas if you don’t watch Home Alone?! B and I are the same age so even though we didn’t know each other back then we both remember watching Home Alone as kids thinking, “I’d so do that.” The weather was starting to cool down and even get windy so just before the midnight fireworks we drove down to the beach to hang out for a while. On the way home we picked up some icy pops which I had BIG NEW YEAR’S DAY PLANS FOR.

The oatmeal I didn’t even have to cook. Well, I cooked it the day before and because I never get the portions right, I just stored what was left in the fridge to have with fresh strawberries in the morning, cold. SO GOOD.

I’ve been asked a few times how to cook oatmeal. ??? Usually the packages that the oats come in will say something like cook for 5 minutes. There isn’t much to it but I know that a lot of people really have no confidence when it comes to anything beyond boiling water for tea. No worries!

Basic Oatmeal My Way:

Ingredients

Whole rolled oats – these days you can even get organic. Let’s say a handful per person.

Enough water to cover the oats in a small saucepan.

I like to add a good shake of ground nutmeg and cinnamon when I’m cooking the oats.

Method

Bring the oats in the water to a gentle boil, keep it on a low heat – oatmeal tends to bubble up really quickly and then spill over all over your stove when you turn your back on it. So keep the heat low so you don’t miss it. When the oatmeal starts to bubble, keep stirring so it doesn’t stick, you might add a little more water if you feel like it looks dry. Once you can’t see the water separate from the oats, that’s it. It should look like flaky mush. Makes sense? Let’s say it should be done in around 3-5 minutes. You can’t OVERCOOK oatmeal although it could dry out. 


To serve you can add honey or maple syrup and a splash of your choice of milk. You could cook the oatmeal in milk instead of water to make the oatmeal extra creamy. 

Like I said, if you made too much, it’s fine! Just put your leftovers in the fridge. Easy. 

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Do you have any resolutions for this year? I wrote something last year about having a Peaceful New Year’s Eve . I was thinking to myself yesterday that even though I’m bringing in the New Year not feeling 100% that everytime my baby kicks, it makes me smile and I have no complaints. There have been some moments in 2016 that were really, really tough and horrible but there have also been many moments of joy. Isn’t that just life though? I think overall I faced things as peacefully as I could and I’ll try harder again this year. Every year I get a little calmer and at ease with peace, I hope!  I think if I had just one resolution to make this year it would be to just focus on being the kind of person that I look forward to spending time with.

And that person would conveniently have messy hair and eat icy pops in bed hehehe.

White Cotton Knit Dress from Kmart;
Nail Polish from Essie in Pink Diamond 

Make that REALLY messy hair. I’m wearing a cheap cotton knit dress that I found in KMART for $6. So comfy for sleeping! Although as my bump gets bigger, the dress gets shorter. It’ll be a singlet by the time the baby is due.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful end to 2016 and that 2017 will bring you lots of peace.

x

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Thriving on Peace: The Yoga of Pregnancy. Beginnings

Thriving on Peace: The Yoga of Pregnancy. Beginnings

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A little chat about the mysterious inkling, hints and symptoms of pregnancy and some of my experiences in the very beginning.

“Did you know right away?”

No, I didn’t even know left away.

A lot of women I speak to say that they just knew when they were pregnant. Some dreamt of their baby within a day of conceiving. Others felt a twinge.

I just knew, you know?

No, I don’t know. I had no idea. Not a single clue. Ok, maybe there were clues, I just didn’t know them for clues.

If you have seen my Instagram posts you would perhaps come across one where I mentioned having been out of action because of this brilliant bout of flu I had been having.

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[Bedhead] Even though I'm still incredibly worn out and can't stay up for longer than a few hours at a stretch, I feel, weirdly, FANTASTIC. B touches my forehead with his hand and it's turning into a joke between us. "How do you feel?" "To be perfectly frank, I feel so tired but also AMAZING." I croak as he ices his hand. "Well you look amazing." "Don't I just?" I've always thought of myself as a positive person but at the moment I'm experiencing some really great vibes. No, it's not the fever talking! I think it's the 40 day practice. (Details are linked in my profile) I'm still managing to do it everyday and combined with a lot of rest, and plenty of water, my symptoms haven't bothered me emotionally as much as they would in other circumstances. To those of you who have joined in already, welcome! Keep going, I think it will be totally worth it. 🔮✨💠🌿 #yoga#yogalove#tribe#sadhana#takerest#morninglight#loveandlight#magicalyou#selflove#viberesponsibly#uplift#inspiredliving#liveinthelight#myyogalife#goddessvibes#manifest#health#choosewellness#joyfulliving#spirit#peace#meditation#lifestyleblogger#consciousliving#mindfulness#practicewithme#justwokeup#bedhead

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Most of June and a lot of July had been spent attempting to sleep my way out of the thing. Shortly after I had recovered, it was time to bundle up for a flight back home for a few weeks.

Some women have wonderfully regular cycles, mine is sort of “flexible”. Travel is one of those activities which impacts on my cycle so it didn’t seem strange that there was a delay. I was a little softer around my edges which also seemed normal, being a combination of having not been very active lately due to the flu, just getting off a long flight and also because of the particular point in my cycle I thought I was at. As my cycle length stretched onwards towards infinity, a girlfriend urged me to test.
But I was starting to cramp, so I decided to leave it.

A week of cramping went by.

And that’s when I started to suspect something was going ON.

SLOW ON THE UPTAKE, right?

For those who don’t already know, a lot of the symptoms of pregnancy resemble the symptoms women experience prior to menstruation.  But CRAMPING, seriously?! Why on earth would I have cramps and think, “Yup, I’m definitely pregnant.

Of course I’m going to go pick up some tampons.

So symptoms are not always that helpful unless you own a “I just know” radar. Myself, I “just know” when women around me are pregnant, but apparently my radar only works on other networks not on my own. I remember being a little girl and walking towards my piano teacher one afternoon. As I walked towards her, I said to my mother, “She’s pregnant.“She totally was. The words just fell right out of my mouth. And then I proceeded to tell her it was a boy. It totally was a boy. Kids, huh.

Cut to me now.

You’re pregnant.

Huh?

I worried that this meant I wasn’t CONNECTING to my baby. Where was my awareness? Were we not bonding? After trying to take care of myself so that I would be as healthy for birthing a baby as possible, here I was, fluey and clueless. I remember hearing that from the moment a person has a child, they worry about that child until.. forever. My worrying had started from conception. Actually no, it started as soon as I peed on a stick.

And then I shook myself mentally. I realised I was completely missing the point! Here we were so so so lucky to find ourselves in this happy position, waiting on a baby. Was this how I wanted to spend my pregnancy?! I had always wanted a calm pregnancy and now it seemed that was exactly what I had on my hands. A calm and easy pregnancy.

Pregnancy is so synonymous with morning sickness. People constantly asked me, “Any nausea?

Nope.

A host of websites informed me that nausea was positively correlated with a healthy pregnancy. Crap! Where was my nausea?! I had aversions to a few things but when it came to nausea I had about two weeks of morning sickness, at most. And all in the afternoon and evening time. And it mostly felt like indigestion.

People with good intentions trying or genuinely interested in my pregnancy continued to ask me about morning sickness, not realising it would remind me that I didn’t have any of this thing that was associated with a strong pregnancy. I thought calm thoughts as best as I could and reassured myself that I was LUCKY. Much later, I was informed that in all likelihood, I wasn’t experiencing much nausea because of the type of food choices I made and because I was drinking so much water.

Other than that, I felt kind of ordinary although very sleepy.

VERY sleepy. I was constantly tired in the first few months. I’d wake up super early (to pee) and then I’d go back to bed, toss for a while, feeling RAVENOUS, and finally haul myself out in search of food. After that, I’d manage to stay up for a few hours before I took a really long nap (anywhere between one hour to five hours). I’d gone from being someone who struggled to nap to a total Nap Queen. I started thinking I might just sleep through the pregnancy.

Someone wake me up when my water breaks.” I’d say.

bump

I’d wake up and manage one or two conversations before I’d yawn. Oh, eight o’clock! Time to pee and get into bed.

Going to bed was a major operation. Before getting into bed I would go pee, so that I wouldn’t need to get back up again. I’d settle down in my nest of pillows and close my eyes with a happy sigh once I found the perfect position. A few seconds later I’d realise I needed to go pee again. FINE. So off I went. And then I would come back, have my sip of water, lie back down. Hmm. Was that it though? Better go back. FINE. Etc.

I probably walked a kilometre each night going between my bed and my bathroom all those times.

B was very kind and offered to get me anything I craved no matter what time.

Just wake me up honey if you get hungry and you want something.” His friends had warned him their wives wanted KFC and nutella pancakes at all hours of the night.

I’ll get back to you.” The thought of chicken made me feel green but I decided to keep the food delivery option open.

I never ended up using that wild card. Around three in the morning, B would wake up to a crunching sound. Turning on the light on his side he’d realise it was me and not some giant crunching on bones in his dreams.

Are you… eating?!

I’m just crushing apples with my jaws to make cider. Nothing to see here, go back to sleep.

A lot of women suggested keeping a box of crackers beside the bed. I disliked the idea of crumbs flying everywhere so I would chop up two apples and keep them in the fridge. When it was that time of the morning I’d go get them and munch happily away. After two or three pieces, I’d rinse my teeth and roll over for another snooze until it was time to pee again.

It’s the first time where I’ve truly felt hunger pains. Not pangs but true pain. It physically HURTS not to eat when I feel hungry. Just like it physically HURTS LIKE MAD if I don’t pee when I need to.

My body changed shape quite quickly in my eyes. I looked like I’d had breast implants and they entered the room a full half hour before the rest of me followed. Every top was a cleavage loving top. My rib cage became wider very early on and my belly which was usually a little firmer became rounded so I couldn’t zip up a certain dress that highlighted my waist. The first week I realised I was pregnant, I had two pimples on my face where I never got pimples and a small patch of dry skin on my face, eczema-ish in appearance. I have never had eczema. They all cleared after a week and I peered at my reflection wondering if I was glowing. Looked pretty ordinary to me. Aside from the cleavage. I mean, whoa. Welcome, sisters.

Oh, let’s see, what else?

Cravings! I had just two cravings. One was fresh orange juice WITH THE PULP. The pulp was very important.And the other was chilled watermelon. To be perfectly honest these are things I like to eat even pre-pregnancy but for various reasons I don’t usually indulge in them very often. I figured compared to all the other people with cravings for clay or tacos or fried chicken that at least I would get some nutritional value. Later I discovered that I may as well cut out the middle man and just eat oranges fresh. Worked just as well! As a bonus, when I went through my two minutes of nausea I discovered that the chilled watermelon really helped. You might like to try that and let me know if it helped!

Exercise wise I was too tired most days. I took a break from my regular yoga routine which a lot of senior yoga teachers suggest practitioners do in the first trimester. Just the thought of being up and MOVING for 45 – 90 minutes made me want to lie down. Instead, I did small 10 – 15 minute intervals of very gentle yoga and Pilates exercises to keep my body feeling mobile and my core strong so that I wouldn’t get too much back pain. That seems to have paid off so far. When I had the energy and the weather permitted I would go down to the pool for a short swim. A little walking. A lot of meditation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BJeZjG4g-8b

Processed with Rookie Cam

I think meditation has been one of the best tools I’ve had for adjusting to pregnancy and hopefully towards parenthood.

Due to some combination of meditation, yoga, a user-friendly batch of pregnancy hormones and loads of naps, I haven’t had any mood swings. I remember one day I was really tired. B had snored ALL NIGHT and I couldn’t sleep through the noise. By the afternoon I was so exhausted I felt really grumpy and I told B how I was feeling really short tempered due to my frustration. We got through the day without anyone getting hurt hahaha. Slept like a baby that night and we went back to being happy pregnant people. Aside from that day, my mood has been really stable. Phew! Friends would meet up with us and later message B to say,

Gosh, she seems really happy.

Towards the end of my first trimester my energy levels improved and I went back to practising slightly more active yoga. Initially I sought the guidance of my first yoga teacher who guided me with making adjustments and modifications. She is an Iyengar teacher and Iyengar Yoga felt like the best way for me to return to a safe and supportive practice. With the information I learned from her and a few other senior teachers,  I returned to my regular home practice. I’m almost in my third trimester now and have been doing this modified version of my regular practice for a few weeks now. It feels so good to be back to it!

back-to-yoga

By the second trimester the nocturnal toilet visits reduced, thank goodness, and my cravings which had gradually reduced over time went away. I’m still pretty interested in orange juice but it’s not a big deal if I don’t get any for days or weeks at a stretch. Also I stopped waking up at all hours of the morning needing food so the apple chopping operation has ceased. Now I just find that when I wake up in the morning, I want to have something for breakfast before I can meditate.

Pregnancy has turned me into a breakfast person!

perks-of-pregnancy

I’m now at the stage where I can balance my plate (albeit a smallish one) on my belly. Brilliant! Goodbye tables, I have my own built in, hehe.

That’s all I can think of to say for now about the first trimester. Hopefully that helps! If there’s anything else you wanted to know, just ask and I’ll share what I’ve experienced!

xx